So, I hiked into Hanover, NH today, and while I hiked, I was thinking about how great it would be to cross another state line. Finishing Vermont makes twelve states completed and just two to go!
As I hiked, I thought about the contrast between a day at work (at my last job) and a day at work hiking the trail. There are some similarities (believe it or not)! I’ll use “AT” and “JOB” to distinguish the trail and the job:
AT – 4:55 AM – Ignore the first time my alarm watch buzzes. I can sleep another 5 minutes.
JOB – 6:15 AM – Press the snooze button when the alarm goes off. I can sleep another 9 minutes.
AT – 5:00 AM – Alarm again! Better get up! Remember, you want to get some hiking in before the day gets hot!
JOB – 6:24 AM – Hit the snooze button again – you know you can use ANOTHER 9 minutes in bed!
JOB – 6:33 AM – Okay, okay! I’m getting up!
AT – 5:02 AM – Wander into the woods to pee.
JOB – 6:34 AM – Stumble into the bathroom to pee.
AT – 5:05 AM – Mix cold water into two packets of instant oatmeal (that’s right! directly into the packets!) and dump a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee and Cremora into the water bottle. It’s breakfast time!
JOB – 6:36 AM – Shower, shave, get dressed in clean clothes.
AT – 5:06 AM – Shower? Shave? Clean clothes? What are these things? I’m already dressed, since I slept in my clothes!
JOB – 6:50 AM – Head downstairs for coffee (brewed automatically) and breakfast. Maybe toast and eggs today.
AT – 5:30 AM – Breakfast is over, roll up the sleeping bag and start packing the pack. Looks like rain today – I’d better put on the waterproof pack cover!
JOB – 7:00 AM – Ready to go! Hmmm… looks like rain today; I’d better not drive the MG. I’ll take the other car.
JOB – 7:05 AM – Curse the aggressive drivers! Whay do they have to weave and tailgate??!!
AT – 7:05 AM (I’ve been hiking for an hour already.) – Curse the wet rocks and wet slippery tree roots (or the mud if this is Vermont, or the mosquitoes if this is New Jersey)!
JOB – 7:30 – Start the day with a department morning meeting. Listen to the boss, listen to co-workers report the overnight failures and the problems expected during the day.
AT – 7:30 – Listen to the mystical, musical, morning melodies of the wood thrush.
JOB – 9:30 AM (break time) – Head into the break room and pour some coffee. Oh! Someone brought donuts today! Eat one, but think about eating less and exercising more. These pants are getting way too tight!
AT – 9:30 AM (break time) – Sit on a rock or fallen log. Pull out a granola bar or bag of trail mix. Think about ways to eat more. These pants are getting way too loose!
JOB – 11:30 AM – Lunch time! Get the brown bag out of the fridge (oh goody! it’s a roast beef sandwich today!), have more coffee, work on the daily crossword. Chat a bit if someone else is eating lunch.
AT – 11:30 AM – Lunch time! Get the green food bag out of my pack. Eat peanut butter and M&Ms on tortillas. Drink some Kool-aid mixed into the water bottle. Work on the plan of how far to hike the next couple of days. Chat a bit if another hiker comes along.
JOB – remainder of the afternoon – work on stuff, answer phone calls and emails, talk to co-workers, take another break sometime.
AT – remainder of afternoon – walk, take another break sometime.
JOB – 4:15 PM – Call home. Tell Susie I’ll be 15 -30 minutes later than usual.
AT – 4:15 PM – Call home. Tell Susie I’ll be another 4 – 5 weeks.
… and so on, ending the day at:
AT – 9:30 PM – My gosh! It’s past hiker midnight! I’m too tired to read another page of my book. I’ll just sleep. Tomorrow’s another day!
JOB – 11:30 PM – The late local news is over. I’m too tired to stay up and watch Letterman. I’ll just sleep. Tomorrow’s another day!